A historic day for the Berry Rural Co-op, launching its first range of flavoured milks.
The farmer-owned co-op has revealed its first range of full-cream, full-flavoured milks in chocolate, strawberry and iced coffee flavours.
Customers from southern NSW to Wollongong and the tablelands will be able to taste the best of South Coast Dairy, available conveniently from some Woolworths, Coles and independent supermarkets.
The milks, branded South Coast Dairy, come in 300ml, 500ml and two-litre packaging and feature real flavours, said co-op general manager Kara Duncan.
The flavoured milk lines join the South Coast Dairy-branded full-cream, light and skim milk.
“Our customers have been asking for flavoured milks for many years, but we have taken our time in development of the range to get it right,” Mrs Duncan said.
“We only wanted to bring a premium quality offering to the market.”
She said the co-op decided to expand into flavoured milks after a study undertaken with help from the Australian Government-backed Farming Together program.
“Farming Together helped us consolidate our position, it gave us an understanding on where our business needed to go,” Mrs Duncan said.
The co-op received $131,000 from Farming Together to help develop a strategic plan, a business plan and a governance program as well as a succession plan and marketing plan.
Formed in 1911, the co-op is handling three million litres of milk per year, ensuring a fair farmgate price for its suppliers.
Employment leverage rates mean the enterprise employs a total of 92 people on the co-op’s farms, processing lines and logistics.
“The support from Farming Together has helped us expand our product portfolio, grow our business and eventually employ more people, while supporting the customers who support us when they choose to buy a multi-award winning locally produced milk,” Mrs Duncan said.
Farming Together program director Lorraine Gordon said the organisation was delighted to see the expansion by the Berry Rural Co-op.
“It highlights how Farming Together has worked over two years to support agriculture from the grower upwards. It has helped farmers control their industry,” she said.
The Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program, known as Farming Together, is a two-year, $13.8m initiative from the Australian Government designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.
Farming Together pilot program is being delivered by Southern Cross University and runs until June 30 this year.
The program delivery team comprises highly experienced senior team drawn from a wide range of commodity groups from across Australia and is backed by an industry advisory group representing experts from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and NSW.